To get into the NCAA tournament, most if not all teams in the West Coast Conference not named Gonzaga are going to have to win the conference tournament and earn an automatic bid.
Mark Few's team must fall for that to happen, and for opponents to take their best shot at the Zags, it'd help to have a healthy squad as Loyola Marymount showed last night in its upset win.
Larry Davis, Jarred DuBois and Ashley Hamilton were out for the Lions with injuries in a 16-point loss to Gonzaga last month, and last night, they combined for 39 points. Davis, a Seton Hall transfer, had missed the previous six games with a stress reaction in his foot.
Here's some injury updates on players around the WCC that could have an impact on their team's chances if they should run into Gonzaga:
Portland: Nik Raivio, the team's leading scorer, has been out with an Achilles strain since suffering the injury in practice Jan. 19, but the Pilots are hoping to have the senior guard available for the conference tournament, according to a team spokesman.
Pepperdine: Sophomore Dane Suttle Jr., who averages 7.7 points per game, was scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery on his left ankle, the school announced.
San Diego: De'Jon Jackson, famous for hitting the game-winning shot that sank No. 4-seeded UConn in the first round of the 2008 NCAA tournament, suffered a torn ACL against San Francisco on Feb. 4 that ended the senior's career. He was the second-leading scorer for the Toreros, who upset Gonzaga in the WCC tournament final to get into the NCAAs in 2008.
San Francisco: Freshman Perris Blackwell has missed the past four games due to injury, but could be available as early as tomorrow against Santa Clara, according to a team spokesman. The forward who averages 6.6 points per game played crucial minutes in an upset of Gonzaga last month.